MORE than 50 new affordable homes are set to be built in Cockerton as part of a regeneration project.

Darlington Borough Council is working with Dunelm Acorn Homes and Esh Group after the Homes and Community Agency granted it £900,000 for the new houses.

The grant is on top of a £3.13m budget the council already agreed to allocate to regenerate the Cockerton area in September 2011.

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As part of the project, 80 new family homes will replace 76 council homes - including one and two-bedroomed flats in the Minors Crescent area which the council say are no longer in demand and do not meeting modern expectations.

Of the 80 new houses, 56 will be available for rent from Endeavour Housing Association and 24 will be for sale.

So far, 42 houses have been demolished in the Minors Crescent area, and building work on the new properties is expected to begin in April this year.

The remaining 34 houses will be demolished in Arundel Drive and Rothbury Drive next month and building work is set to start in August.

A further 141 council houses in the area will have their kitchens and bathrooms upgraded, as well as new heating systems installed to make them more energy efficient.  Fencing, footpaths, and off-street parking will also be improved.

So far 124 properties have been completed, with the rest due to be finished in March this year.

The shopping parade on Nickstream Lane is set to be refurbished and a number of play areas and eco gardens built, following consultations with local residents.

An additional footpath will be built linking the area to West Park.

Councillor Veronica Copeland, cabinet member for adult social care and housing, said: “We are uplifting all of this area.

“It is something we have been wanting to do for quite some time and now it is finally happening. It is positive for both those people living here and the surrounding area.

“We are working closely with the local community to develop the land as they are the experts on the area.”

Residents are being informed of the work through regular newsletters and anyone with any queries can visit the site office at Warwick Square between 8am and 4.30pm.

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